Little Witch Academia – 11

Finally, finally LWA stops spinning its wheels with skeleton chases and fancy balls and throws us some juicy story meat, revealing the role Akko will play (or rather, is playing) in reversing the accelerating decline in magic throughout the world.

The reason Charior is so intent on helping Akko isn’t out of regard for her biggest fan: it’s because she believes Akko could be the witch to stem the tide of magical oblivion. Of course, Akko still doesn’t know Ursula is Chariot, and it stays that way, but Ursula still relays a very Chariotesque saying: “That which is dreamed cannot be grasped, but work towards it, day after day, and you will find it in your hands.” 

She’s telling Akko not to be so focused on the future and her ultimate dream—to become an amazing witch like Chariot—and instead focus on the extremely hard day-to-day work that’s needed just to become a competent witch. And Akko has been working harder, with Ursula giving her after-school lessons every day for a month.

By mentioning the blue moon, Ursula probably did not intend to send Akko digging through her trading cards, finding one that references a “blue moon apparition” in the bowels of Luna Nova—but that’s where Akko goes, when the moon is high, notably without Lotte and Sucy tagging along.

Akko’s journey deeper into the abyss is a return to the sense of awe and wonder I got from earlier LWA episodes. Watching Akko continue to move forward even in the midst of terrifying stone witches (and even a false Chariot trying to discourage her), earned her back some serious likability points in my book.

As she explores deep below the school, Diana searches the towering shelves of Luna Nova’s deep archive on her broom. The same blue moon that guides Akko also shows Diana the book related to the quest Akko doesn’t even know she’s already on: the unlocking of something called the Arcturus using seven words to unseal the “Grand Triskelion” that will “change the world.”

I can forgive Diana’s largely expository role because the archive is so cool-looking. As for the seven words, Akko unwittingly revived the first when she opened the portal to Luna Nova back in the first episode. This week she unwittingly reives the second.

She does so by rejecting the future the “blue moon apparition” offers to her, for the low, low price of, oh, her entire past, including memories of everyone she’s known, even Chariot, as well as all the mistakes she’s learned from.

She’d rather achieve that future on her own rather than taking a shortcut, and by saying the magic words that translate into Ursula’s words (about “that which is dreamed” being attained through day-to-day toil), she not only turns the Shiny Rod into an axe but uses it to free the apparition from the wood to reveal a beautiful otherworldly woman.

That woman is Woodward, the professor who inspired Chariot when she was a student at Luna Nova. Woodward was testing Akko, and for once, she passed: the second of seven words has been revived.

What happens when the remaining five words are revived? The Shiny Rod, AKA Claiomh Solais, will break the seal of Arcturus and release the Grand Triskelion, which will “change the world,” presumably for the better as far as witches and magic goes.

In a way, this episode felt like a seal had been broken, not only unveiling the overarching plot and indicating a clear path for Akko, but restoring the show’s wondrous atmosphere, was well as my faith in it going forward. For now, at least, my concerns have been nicely allayed.

Talking Shop: Little Witch Academia

Preston (MagicalChurlSukui): Reviewed 10 after all — Not Great :/

Franklin (Oigakkosan): Yeah…let me read your take :)

Franklin: Yeah you captured it.

I just want it to be about something and it’s not. It’s random throwaway skits featuring mostly jerks. Akko isn’t especially likable. Nor Sucy. And Lotte gets rare screen time.

It’s just like whuuut dooo you want me to get from you show???

Preston: Yeah

Franklin: You ever read/watch The Magicians?

Preston: Neither

Franklin: Magicians the show is fine. Not great but fine. The book is terrible.

It’s more like LWA. It just doesn’t go anywhere. Lots of wheelspin and underdeveloped characters

Preston: It’s weird. LWA has always felt like it should be more serialized. Oh well

Franklin: Diana’s love for Chariot hasn’t even become a thing. Diana knowing Akko is powerful hasn’t become a thing. Those were good eps but even they haven’t gone anywhere

Preston: It’s weird. LWA has always felt like it should be more serialized. I almost feel like a Harry Potter TV show would be like this…big arc events at either end of seasons but lots of padding in the middle.

But I would be very surprised if LWA drops something big at the halfway point

Franklin: The HP books are full of dead ends and fluff. Malfoy is like a cartoon villain in the first three. Individual episodes would have content but it wouldn’t work well as arcs.

As eps with self-contained arcs I mean. Like Hermione’s Elf Rights Arc. It would last a whole season and end with nothing happening. Forgotten in the next season entirely

At least each HP book has a villain and a mystery. LWA has neither. We know who Chariot is, we know Diana liked her once, we know Akko can be powerful. We don’t know why knowing that matters

Preston: There’s no real coming-of-age story either after the first ep. Any elements of that are too wishy-washy.

Akko seems locked in 10-year-old mode

Franklin: Not a slice of life either, since there’s not much to the characters

Preston: It seems the non-magical world love shitting on witches in the show…so they could theoretically have a situation (or crisis) where suddenly the world needs witches again…

But it just hasn’t been building to that, or anything like that. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Franklin: No buildup. No development. No payoff.

Preston: It’s not as if I’m some anime-writing expert, but those seem like no-brainers to have in a show like this

Preston left the conversation.
Franklin left the conversation.